With all that cooking going on this Christmas weekend, there's one friend you have in your house that can keep things free of germs.
We all know the dishwasher is certainly convenient, but according to Reader's Digest ... it's your number one ally for sanitation, too.
A food safety expert says run anything in there you can.
"It uses really hot water, and that's what gets the germs," said Brenda Elrod of the Northeast Texas Public Health District. "You can't stick your hands in 160-degree water, and that's how hot it can get in the dish washing machine. "
Elrod says throw in those cutting boards and sponges too, if you can.
"There are certain sponges they advertise that are made to go in the dishwasher," she said. "You just want to be sure you put them on the top rack so they don't get down there and get caught on fire. "
If you don't have a dishwasher, a little bit of bleach goes a long way.
"You can depend on a chemical sanitizer," Elrod says. "A soapy wash and a clear rinse reduces the number of bacteria on surfaces just by the friction and cleaning process."
And just another friendly reminder to keep you and your guests happy:
"Keep raw foods separate from cooked foods, wash hands thoroughly and watching the temperatures of your food is important too," Elrod says. "We like to say, 'Keep it clean, keep it hot, keep it cold or don't keep it at all.'"